Art and its Audience

I was fortunate enough to be invited to screen one of my films, “Rhythm of Causality”, at the ITSA Film Festival in Northern California this past weekend…

Any time I get to screen my film with an audience, I feel on top of the world. As a filmmaker who is a writer/director, I make the films that are true to me, but I don’t make them to not be shown, so when I have a chance to display them in front of an audience, it’s a wonderful treasure since it’s quite difficult to have such an opportunity…

I held a cast and crew screening of my latest short, “Your Move”, which will be heading out on the 2012 film festival circuit shortly. While I was thinking of what I wanted to say to the talented cast and crew I worked with, I came to the conclusion that we are all artists, in our various crafts, coming together to create my vision of this film.

But what is an artist? Is it simply someone who creates art? But what is art? Is it subjective?

Once again going to my handy Apple dictionary, art by definition is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form…”

Well… that could be taken many ways and I suppose that is something beautiful about art.

It IS subjective.

What one person finds to be art, another may find to be trash. Art is in the eye of the beholder… but it’s also in the eye of the creator.

I find that it can get complicated when one chooses to be an artist. You may make the art that is true to you but without an audience, where does it go? What happens to it? How do you make a living? I used to think those questions were irrelevant, that an artist (whether one is a filmmaker, painter, musician, etc) should only create what is meaningful to them and to hell with those who don’t understand, but then, reality set in and I realized, while that may be at the essence of artwork, the audience must be taken into consideration because ultimately, they are the ones who will carry on an artist’s work.

Now, that brings the question of what an audience means. Is it the masses? Everyone? Or is it a select few?

I believe an honest artist should create artwork that is true to him/herself, realize an audience is part of the process and take it into consideration while not allowing it to be the reason to create anything false and then let the chips fall where they may. If it finds an audience, wonderful. If it doesn’t, an artist can question why that is and think about it… deciding whether or not they want to change, according to their own beliefs.

After making several films and screening in front of various audiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am only capable of making films (which is my artwork of choice) that I believe in, that mean something to me, that are true to what I want to represent and create but at the same time, I’m very aware of the fact that an audience will be the recipient of such artwork. So, I learn from them and apply what I’ve learned to my artwork, all the while staying true.

And you know what, the collaboration I have with my cast and crew has now added a third member, and that’s its AUDIENCE.

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